Director Rian Johnson explains Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s “subtle” ending

Here’s what really happened in that ambiguous final scene – contains spoilers

Rey (Daisy Ridley) finds Luke Skywalker on Ahch-To (LucasFilm, HF)


New Star Wars sequel The Last Jedi has one of the most unusual final scenes in the franchise’s history, choosing not to focus on any cliffhangers or emotional goodbyes and instead zoning in on one young boy on a distant planet.


And now, director Rian Johnson has filled in on exactly what was going on in that slightly ambiguous ending. Look away now if you haven’t seen The Last Jedi, as we’ll be delving into spoiler territory from hereon out.

In Episode VIII’s final scene we revisit the planet of Canto Bight, where heroes Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and Finn (John Boyega) earlier liberated some enslaved creatures with the help of a young boy (apparently also enslaved by the stable owner) after giving him a secret Resistance ring.

And in The Last Jedi’s closing moments, we rejoin that young boy as he checks his ring, gazes up at the sky at a departing spaceship and – most crucially of all – appears to pull a broom to his hand with the power of the force.

It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment that seems to hint that the Jedi won’t end with Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker after all (the boy’s situation shares certain characteristics with that of Luke’s father Anakin, after all) – and according to Johnson, the ambiguity of the scene was entirely intentional.

“I don’t know – you’ll have to see again!” Johnson laughed. “See if there was anything!

“I wanted whatever happened there to be incredibly subtle. It’s probably still not subtle enough. But that was my intent.”

So in other words, we’re supposed to think that the young boy is a force-sensitive example of the rebirth coming to the galaxy – but also not be completely sure if we saw anything at all?

“It’s like, ‘Did I just see that?’” Johnson agreed. “It’s subtle, it’s very subtle.”

So there you have it – your eyes were not deceiving you, the Force is real and there’s hope for the galaxy yet. The perfect Christmas message.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in cinemas now